Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder said the appointment of a monitor to oversee election activities does not change the way his office will conduct elections.
“We do everything we can to make sure that we're meeting all the requirements and all the rules,” Schroeder told Colorado Community Media in an interview. “In many cases, we go above and beyond.”
His remarks came hours after Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced a supervisor to monitor election-related actions in his office as of Wednesday, Oct. 19.
“Every eligible Coloradan — Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated alike — has the right to cast a ballot in accessible and secure elections," Griswold said in an announcement. "That’s why I am taking action to appoint an Election Supervisor in Elbert County. I will continue to uphold Colorado Election Law and provide the support and oversight needed to ensure secure access to Colorado’s elections."
This isn't the first time Griswold, an incumbent Democrat facing a challenge from Republican Pam Anderson in November's election, has appointed a supervisor in Elbert County. Earlier this year, a monitor oversaw the primaries there.
Griswold cited problems in Elbert County, including in 2021 when Schroeder was accused of sharing copies of images of the county's voting system hard drives. In the 2022 primaries, the secretary of state responded to "dozens of voted ballots which were not verified or counted during the regular counting process" in Elbert County. Those ballots were eventually added to the election results, according to Griswold's office.
Schroeder, a Republican running unopposed for a new job — Elbert County commissioner — said that the secretary of state has not provided "a complete picture" of current and past events. He said the hard drives, for example, were provided to his attorneys, John Case and Joe Stengel, who had signed affidavits attesting to their security.
“They call them unauthorized," Schroeder said of the secretary of state's claims. "I call them my attorneys who maintained chain of custody and signed affidavits that the drives were never accessed in their possession."
As for the uncounted ballots earlier this year, Schroeder claimed the situation was a simple oversight.
“You have a lot of people moving in and out of out of rooms, doing different processes in the election," he said. "You know, sometimes things get missed. But we did notify (the secretary of state's office) as soon as we found it. We were sick about it … I appreciate their efforts in helping us get that issue resolved.”
Professional election administrator Christi Coburn will monitor Schroeder’s elections staff, Griswold's office said. Coburn also supervised the 2022 primary elections in Elbert County.